Does Size Matter? Scrapbook Page Sizes and Topics

by Lain Ehmann on July 25, 2011

I have to give a shout-out to darling Mikki for making me think of this post. She is working through the Define Your Style A to Z class, and had some comments about what size of page she uses, and how many photos she typically includes on a layout. I was thinking about her comments and this post came to be! Thanks, Mikki! Note: Online accredited colleges are an option for busy people who are looking for even more knowledge about art and design. Scrapbooking is a fun kind of art that anyone can enjoy.

Does size matter? When it comes to scrapbook layouts, bigger isn’t always better — but the size of the page definitely determines the topic I’ll be covering. Or maybe it’s vice-versa.

After being a dedicated 12×12 scrapper for years, I have started creating more and more 8.5×11 pages in the past few years. I couldn’t figure out what the cause of this shift was… or why I still occasionally reach for the 12×12 size of cardstock. I started mulling it over, and decided that I like 8.5×11 because it works better for single-photo pages… And of course, that begged the question:

Why am I creating more single-photo pages?

I had to puzzle that one for a bit. Then I realized,

I choose 8.5×11 (single-photo pages) for MEMORIES-based layouts or PERSONALITY pages.

I choose 12×12 when I have multiple photos — and that tends to be for an EVENT-based layout.


Once I figured this out, it made TOTAL sense that I’m doing more 8.5×11 pages:

  • I’m doing heritage pages with photos from my husband’s family, where I only have a handful of pictures, so they’re all single-photo pages (and 8.5×11!)
  • I’m doing more “personality” pages about my kids. As they get older, there are fewer “event” pages, and more “memories” (and thus 8.5×11!)
  • I’m doing more “how I feel” pages, where the journaling/topic often comes first and then I find a photo to match.

There are exceptions, of course. I occasionally create an “event” page with multiple photos on an 8.5×11″ page, but that’s rare:

…Or I’ll do a single-photo 12×12, but that’s even rarer! (Is that a word? Let’s say YES!). In fact, it’s so rare, I haven’t created one like that this year at all.

Now, here’s YOUR assignment: Think about what kinds of pages you trend towards. Why do you choose that size? If it’s because it works better with the number of photos you’re using, why are you using that number of photos? Does it tie in somehow with the types of stories you’re telling? Leave me a comment and tell me what you discover!

As always, no right or wrong here. We’re just gathering info for the journey. 🙂

P.S. Questions like these help me figure out how my scrapbooking fits together. Does the photo determine the page, or vice-versa? Does it really matter? To me it does. I don’t want to limit myself unnecessarily. Remember the old story of the women who cut the ends off her roast before she put it in the oven? If not, I’ll tell it on this week’s podcast. Stay tuned!

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